Airbus said to deliver over 700 jets in 2017

Airbus stuck to an official 2017 target of more than 700 aircraft deliveries. (Reuters)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Airbus said to deliver over 700 jets in 2017

LONDON: European planemaker Airbus delivered over 700 aircraft in 2017, breaking company records and meeting its core industrial target for the year, industry sources said.
Exact figures have been kept under wraps ahead of an announcement on Jan. 15, but the sources said Airbus handed over a record monthly total of jets in December, surpassing the previous monthly peak of 111 seen in the closing weeks of 2016.
Coming on top of 591 deliveries posted between January and November last year, that implies deliveries of at least 703 aircraft in 2017 as a whole, up at least 2 percent from 2016.
A spokesman for Airbus declined comment.
Airbus stuck throughout 2017 to an official target of more than 700 deliveries for the year, but abandoned a more ambitious informal goal of more than 720 deliveries in October due to continued delays in engine deliveries for the A320neo family.
Airbus officials have said the delays have now eased, following a two-year wrangle with supplier Pratt & Whitney over late engines for the company’s fastest-selling jet.
It is the second year in a row that Airbus has been forced to accelerate sharply in December, with that month’s deliveries accounting for at least 16 percent of the annual total.
Without disclosing numbers, Chief Operating Officer Fabrice Bregier thanked staff in a memo for “huge collective efforts” that had seen the company break records for deliveries logged both in one month and in one year, industry sources said.
Still, insiders said the strong industrial performance would be seen by many as a personal coup for Bregier, weeks before he is due to leave the company after losing a bid to succeed Chief Executive Tom Enders, who is himself leaving in 2019.
Airbus is bracing for more internal changes this year as it emerges from a top-level power struggle and rows over the handling of corruption investigations, but ended 2017 with what appears to be a grand slam performance from its current regime.
Besides ending the year on record output, Airbus is also heading for a record December in new business after soon-to-retire sales chief John Leahy announced the firming up of more than 700 orders, equivalent to a year’s production.
Both Leahy and Bregier are leaving Airbus in coming weeks, handing their responsibilities to executives from outside the planemaking inner circle: Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury, who will replace Bregier as head of the planemaking division, and Rolls-Royce civil engines head Eric Schulz, who will replace Leahy after he retires later this month.
Airbus will remain in second place on deliveries in 2017 behind the world’s largest planemaker, Boeing, but analysts say the outcome of the order race depends on how many of the new sales make it into the end-year tally of net orders.


American Airlines ‘unaware’ of some Boeing 737 MAX functions until last week

Updated 15 November 2018
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American Airlines ‘unaware’ of some Boeing 737 MAX functions until last week

  • The FAA and Boeing are evaluating the need for software or design changes to 737 MAX jets
  • ‘Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing’

WASHINGTON: American Airlines Group Inc. said on Wednesday it was “unaware” of some functions of an anti-stall system on Boeing Co’s 737 MAX until last week.
Boeing and the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued guidance on the system last week after a Lion Air jet crashed in Indonesia on Oct. 29, killing all 189 people on board.
The FAA warned airlines last week that erroneous inputs from the system’s sensors could lead the jet to automatically pitch its nose down even when autopilot is turned off, making it difficult for pilots to control.
The system was designed to prevent the jet from stalling, according to information provided by Boeing to airlines.
“We value our partnership with Boeing, but were unaware of some of the functionality of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) installed on the MAX 8,” an American Airlines spokesman said.
“We must ensure that our pilots are fully trained on procedures and understand key systems on the aircraft they fly.”
Indonesian investigators said on Monday the situation the crew of a doomed Lion Air jet was believed to have faced was not contained in the aircraft’s flight manual. US pilot unions were also not aware of potential risks, pilot unions said.
The FAA and Boeing are evaluating the need for software or design changes to 737 MAX jets in the wake of the Lion Air crash, the regulator said on Tuesday.
The American Airlines spokesman said his airline was continuing to work with Boeing and the FAA and would keep pilots informed of any updates.
A Boeing spokeswoman said the manufacturer could not discuss specifics of an ongoing investigation but it had provided two updates for operators around the world that re-emphasize existing procedures to deal with situations relating to MCAS.
“We are confident in the safety of the 737 MAX,” she said. “Safety remains our top priority and is a core value for everyone at Boeing.”